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26 February 2019

MPA calls for national interest to trump party politics on Brexit

In response to the overwhelming frustration felt by its members due to the ugly and unproductive manoeuvrings in Parliament, the Mineral Products Association (MPA) is calling for all MPs, whether 'leavers or remainers', to wake up to the need for the national interest to trump party politics over the coming weeks.

MPA Chief Executive, Nigel Jackson said: "The MPA has adopted a neutral position since the referendum due to the diverse range of views within its membership on a complex issue where opinions still vary widely. Since the referendum we have consistently urged the Government to minimise uncertainty in order to avoid damaging business confidence and risking a reduction in business investment. Our priority has always been about boosting growth as the best means to generate prosperity for all. Tragically, our worst fears have been realised with unnecessary uncertainty fuelling unnecessary decline in growth and investment at a time when there is a burning need for more housing and infrastructure.

Both main political parties and Parliament are split and dysfunctional. The leadership of both parties seem more concerned about internal party politics than economic growth and future generations. Whilst politicians will come and go businesses need to live beyond electoral cycles, and in the normal course of events, are adept at doing so. A considerable number of influential politicians who have little or no relevant sharp end business experience are asserting on issues well beyond their capability whilst ignoring the wealth of business voices who are genuinely trying to help the Government. It is an absolute tragedy that the Government has been unable to harness the goodwill of business and industry over the last two years effectively.

When many of the current political players have moved on, businesses and employees will be left to pick up the pieces created by the current chaos. For some, this appears to be an acceptable price to be paid by the electorate when clearly it is not, nor what most people will have voted for. Whatever the outcome of the current negotiations, all MPs should look in the mirror and ask themselves 'what is the best outcome in the national interest?' rather than adhering to political and visceral opinions, often unsupported by any hard or credible evidence."

Ends.

About the Mineral Products Association:
The Mineral Products Association (MPA) is the trade association for the aggregates, asphalt, cement, concrete, dimension stone, lime, mortar and silica sand industries. With the affiliation of British Precast, the British Association of Reinforcement (BAR), Eurobitume, MPA Northern Ireland, MPA Scotland and the British Calcium Carbonate Federation, it has a growing membership of 520 companies and is the sectoral voice for mineral products. MPA membership is made up of the vast majority of independent SME quarrying companies throughout the UK, as well as the 9 major international and global companies. It covers 100% of UK cement production, 90% of GB aggregates production, 95% of asphalt and over 70% of ready-mixed concrete and precast concrete production. In 2016, the industry supplied £18 billion worth of materials and services to the Economy and was the largest supplier to the construction industry, which had annual output valued at £152 billion. Industry production represents the largest materials flow in the UK economy and is also one of the largest manufacturing sectors. For more information visit: www.mineralproducts.org

For further information, please contact Robina Longworth at robina.longworth@mineralproducts.org ; tel: 020 7963 8017.

   
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